Howling at the Moon (and the Northern Lights)

I awoke yesterday morning with plans to go spring skiing (Shanty Creek reopened this weekend for a last hurrah), but instead I was greeted with a surprise cold. Thinking that congestion might not meet well downhill adventures, we opted for a day of gallivanting. I happen to like that old adage: do what you do well, and all that 😉 But, for now I’m skipping over yesterday’s productivity in favor of more exciting things. Don’t worry though, I’ll come back to it.

My nerdy weather-checking self noticed that moonrise was slated for 11:13PM last night, and given the day’s absolute stillness, I thought it’d be a great time to pop down to the lake for a moonrise.

Situated on the west side of Torch Lake, I aimed my camera at the Torch River Bridge, simply because I hadn’t been down there at night before to notice its colorful lights.

Oh those reflections! (And also the shocking amount of light pollution.)
Torch River Bridge at night

Next I pointed my camera north to see if I could capture some star reflections before the moon rose, blotting out the starlight. Since we hadn’t gotten any aurora notifications, I was quite surprised to see the green glow on the left…which I didn’t see until I got back home and took the photos of my memory card.
before the show

But, back to the moonrise. Because it was so dark, I fought the camera to try to get some exposure of the background without ending up a mass of white nothing for the moon. These were my favorites.

gibbous moon

Frustrated with fighting the Nikon, I finally packed everything up, and we left for home. Less than five minutes into the trip, Tony’s phone chimed: expect auroral activity  within 40 minutes. Instead of driving home, we opted to drop by the Alden Marina – which happens to be the source of the bright lights in the center of the second photo above.

Because of those lights, we didn’t stay there long, hence the different angles on things in the photos below. Despite the nearly full moon, last night’s northern lights were again an impressive display. Oh, and if you’re wondering, I am sure that photographing the northern lights at below-freezing temperatures (at least the wind wasn’t blowing?) when I should have been sleeping was great for the cold I’m fighting 😉

Need more aurora? Click through:
Another Night of Northern Lights – November ’12
Northern Lights Under a Harvest Moon – October ’12
July 15/16 Aurora – July ’12
Northern Lights – A New Excuse for Staying Up Too Late – April ’12

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12 thoughts on “Howling at the Moon (and the Northern Lights)

    • I can’t help myself – the pull of outdoor beauty is too strong to sleep through. And I’m happy to share with anyone who even *thinks* they might enjoy the photos 🙂

  1. Very nice…Love the Aurora Presentation! I guess I can understand the delay, and why a couple of us have been stalking the place looking to see if they were up yet..;) And the Moon Rise pictures are great too…

    • Processing, saving, uploading, and then blogging do take some time 😉 Hopefully the wait was worth it.
      I loved my shots of the reflections around moonrise…but I think the northern lights may have taken center stage.

    • Jeff, I LOVE it that you stop by my little blog to enjoy these things with me – thank you! Tony was saying earlier that while unlikely, it would be awesome if we had northern lights while you visited later this spring. I’ll hope as strongly as I can! (But I’ll be happy just to hang with you guys anyway!)

    • I am such a lucky duck 😉 This year has been a banner year for aurora. As the solar storms wind down, I expect I’ll encounter fewer photo ops – which makes me super-grateful for the ones I’ve had!

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